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– “Have you ever seen the pyramids?”

– “The ones in Egypt or the ones in Sudan?

Instant backpacking points! Seriously though, when people talk about the pyramids they are generally referring to the ones in Egypt. Then again that’s half the beauty of the Sudanese pyramids, you’re almost guaranteed to have them all to yourself.

The pyramids in Sudan

There are two main sites to visit the Sudanese pyramids:

1)    The Meroe Sites / Begrawiya. This site is found 200 km or so north of Khartoum and is hosts the largest selection of pyramids found in Sudan. It’s possible to visit the pyramids as part of a day trip from Khartoum, either by bus or taxi, but in all honesty that’s a bit of a mission.  An easier (and cheaper) way of doing it is to sleep in Atbara and take a day trip from there, its about 80km each way so you can get a bus or if there are a couple of you then a taxi cost around $30 USD all in.

camels in Sudan

Pyramids in sUDAN

When you arrive at the site prepare to be amazed. The place seems untouched my tourism and there no road to get to it, you have to offroad through the desert to get there. It costs around 20 SDP (about $7) and will be the best money you spend in Sudan. 2 guys with a camel and an old lady selling tickets, other than that it’s just you, 20 pyramids and a whole lot of desert. More than likely, you’ll be the only tourists there and it’s a surreal feeling to be at such an important historical sight with the freedom to roam around carefree. I gave the camel guys 5 SDP to ride their camels around instead of walking on the scorching hot sand and it was money well invested. Check out the pics:

2)    Jebel Barkal: Another cool selection of Sudanese pyramids but not quite as impressive as Begrawiya. Sleep in Karima and get a cab the 4km out of town to the pyramids, there’s also a run down temple complex there too. Again, you’ll be the only person there and that alone is a great experience, it’s free to visit too so no excuses not to go!

Jebel Barkal Sudan

El Kurru: Again, this is reachable from a day trip (via bus for $1 USD or, more conveniently, taxi for $12). There are 2 underground tombs complete with Egyptian style hieroglyphics. The area these are found is amazing, with tombs and old temples everywhere, nothing has been properly excavated yet and as soon as Unesco get their hands on these Sudanese sights, they’ll be world famous for sure. The ticket costs around $5 USD per person.

El Kurru

El Kurru Sudan

Ok, well I hope you get the opportunity to visit Sudan and get well and truly off the beaten track. You won’t regret it, I promise you that and when you are fighting the hordes of tourist at the Pyramids in Egypt you can look back with nostalgia at the time in Sudan when you had the whole site to yourself. Happy travels =)

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22 thoughts on “Visiting the Pyramids of Sudan

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  14. Hey Johnny !
    Camel ride = cheesy…anyways, if you’ve ridden a camel around already what’s the need to ride one around a pyramid ??
    But if you’re off to Egypt I would highly recommend going to Aswan and the temple there….
    ..If you go to the Valley of the Kings try to get off the beaten track and go into some of the (supposedly) closed ones….
    ..The Karnak temple was my favourite…quite amazing… and when you cross the Nile there’s a temple surrounded by mountains (can’t remember the name) but again, if you go off the beaten track and climb the mountains around it there are all kinds of interesting goodies, like caves and tombs…I found an open cave where they were doing some excavating and what seemed like mummies…found some little petrified shells on the ground too….
    Enjoy the travels, looking forward to checkin out your photos & write up.

    1. thanks for all the tips Claudia, really appreciate it =) i’m actually in Aswan right now, it’s an amazing place. Doesn’t feel like Africa anymore that’s for sure.

      I’ll take ur tips on board and fill you in when i fulfill them, thanks again!

  15. Greetings from China … Sudan; great. I tried to get to these pyramids in 1991 from Chad – but got kicked out before getting towards Sudan; and failed again in 1995 from Ethiopia. But third time lucky. As I’m currently making my way back to Africa now, from Asia, over the next year or two …

    Regards – MRP | the candy trail … a nomad across the planet, since 1988

    1. hey Michael,

      your travels are insane and to think i have seen something you havent (yet) is an experience in itself! When you make it there send me an msg and tell me how you get on! I love the changes on ur site too, i saw it a year or 2 ago and it looks awesome now!

      johnny

  16. Okay, I gotta say that I loved the photo with you guys all jumping up and the pyramids behind you! Great ! Hilarious ! … and I must confess I never knew there were any pyramids in Sudan ** and quite right, when I visited the ones in Egypt there were so many tourists, buses, and the ultimate tourist trap of the ‘camel ride around the pyramid’ – annoying and cheesy. So looks like you found the spot !
    claudia

    1. Hey Claudia,

      Thanks for having a look. It was an amazing experience, after all the traveling we all do – to find such an historic place and have it to yourself was an amazing, if somewhat surreal, occasion! I was thinking about keeping the secret so it doesn’t get ruined lol 😛

      i’m off to egypt today so you wouldn’t recommend the camel ride then?!

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